There is an interesting interview with the U23 coach Freddie Ljungberg today, where the Gunners legend explains how Unai Emery wants the reserves and youth teams to be taught to the same exact instructions that he has brought to the first team training, and he will add them to the first team if they realise his goals. There are so many nationalities now involved in our youth setup that the games are even involved in Sports betting Canada and the USA as well as many European countries.
It helps that the young Arsenal side is challenging for the U23 League title, and Freddie revealed the new boss’ attitude in an interview in the Mirror. “There have certainly been some changes at the club since Arsene left,” said Ljungberg.
“Unai is very calm, composed and extremely detailed in what he expects. From Monday through to Friday, every single training session is very carefully planned.
“There is always a thought process to what the players are doing and the players have to be open-minded. They need to know their roles and what is expected of them.
“We speak regularly – and always after every U-23 game – because he wants that connection and for the teams below to replicate what happens in the first team.
“That’s fine for me because our principles are quite similar about how the game should be played – players who can play out from the back and not feel uncomfortable in any situation on the field. It’s detailed, with lots of information, but the philosophy is simple.”
“My job is to get as many players up into the first team as possible. He can take as many as he wants,” Freddy continued.
“The important thing is to make sure the boys are ready because he is a manager who believes in young players and what they can do.
“That has always been a feature of successful Arsenal teams. I want to provide players who can go up because they have the ability. But they will also have to know how to do the dirty stuff, at times, when they need to dig deep.
“The manager wants players who are ready to make their mark, but they have to be able to be part of a structure. That’s the way he is. He wants players who can express themselves, but within a discipline. He has come in with new ideas, with energy and he wants to make the club better.”
This is great and fits perfectly with the Arsenal philosophy. I think that from now on we will see Emery bring many more youngsters into the Arsenal first team than even Wenger did. It may upset some of our fairweather fans that just want us to buy ready-made stars in every transfer window, but I absolutely love it when our youngsters break through and become stars in their own right.
Power to Freddy and Unai!